Publication details

Growing the Beautiful Anthropocene: Ethics of Care in East European Food Gardens

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Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Sustainability
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords food self-provisioning; care; generosity; responsibility; learned intentionality; gardening; food sharing
Description This study contributes to research proposing the ethics of care framework as a way of imagining a food system that cares for Others. We expand this exploration to the everyday practice of home gardening and the related social relationships and material flows. This area complements current scholarship, which mostly focuses on food-related care as a form of activism driven by intentionality and knowledge about the effects of consumption choices. Combining a survey of a representative sample of the population and an in-depth qualitative study, our paper highlights the importance of inconspicuous but materially significant food self-provisioning and sharing practices as caring behaviors that do not rely on educational campaigns but draw on the desire to produce healthy food for human Others. Home grown food is distributed in the generalized reciprocity mode within wide food-sharing networks. The desire to produce healthy food further translates into the adoption of caring methods of cultivation that benefit non-human Others involved in the garden ecosystems.
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